Yakima Bears sweeten offer to Clark County in letter of intent


Short Season LLC, owners of the Yakima Bears, a short season Single-A minor league baseball team affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks, today issued an advanced draft letter of intent to Clark County outlining the potential structure of an arrangement that would lead to the construction of a multi-use facility on the Clark College campus.

Most notable in the letter of intent is an agreement by Short Season to secure private construction and the long-term financing of the facility – something that was previously undecided by the team.

“The owners realized the county wanted nothing to do with that [securing private construction and long-term financing] and so they said, ‘okay we’ll step up and cover it,’” said Ron Arp, who is working with the Bears on the proposed move.

In a press release, Short Season said the letter of intent was developed after a number of meetings between the team, the county and the college, during which each party outlined their respective positions.

“We are presenting this letter of intent as our first articulation of the project and framework to begin successful negotiations for facility development,” said Mike McMurray, president of Short Season LLC, in a press release. “It reflects the work of Clark County, Clark College and Short Season over the past 30 days since we announced our pledge to relocate our Single-A franchise to Vancouver pending creation of a multi-use facility.”

McMurray and Arp said the letter of intent was presented to Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, City Manager Eric Holmes and Clark County Administrator Bill Barron, among others.

“By sharing this draft agreement, we look forward to beginning our discussions with city of Vancouver authorities, in addition to continuing the work underway with Clark County and Clark College,” said McMurray.

In addition to Short Season’s agreement to secure the long-term financing of the facility, the letter states that if Clark County decides to levy an entertainment fee, a portion of the proceeds would be deposited into a special “Facility Fund” to be used solely to support the multi-use facility. The letter also states the county will have no obligation to make payments beyond what is available in that fund.

Attached to Short Season’s draft letter of intent is a revised timeline outlining key project milestones including:

▪ The completion of facility design and specifications by July 2011

▪ A Clark County Ordinance authorizing an entertainment fee by July/August 2011

▪ Start of construction by October/November 2011

▪ Completion of construction, use agreements and opening day by June 2012

McMurray said it is possible that certain parts of the letter of intent may be refined as the process continues. He said the team now hopes to speak with leaders in other municipalities across the county.

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